It’s official: Fall has arrived in Miami. We woke up this morning to 63 degree weather. I know most other places are already enjoying cooler temperatures but I was walking in 92 degree weather last week. And now finally we can enjoy our days without read more
Looking for new ways to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers? I got you! These Turkey Croquettes are an easy and tasty way to upcycle not just leftover turkey, but mashed potatoes and gravy too. These are so tasty you might like them even better the second time around. They are crispy, creamy, and served with a delightfully savory sauce.
My Turkey Croquettes are based on a Japanese favorite known as korroke. They are traditionally made with mashed potatoes and ground beef and served with tonkatsu sauce. Swapping out the beef for turkey and adding gravy to the dipping sauce creates a fun Thanksgiving twist on a classic.
Let’s Get Started
There isn’t much prep for the filling since most of it is using leftovers. The key to delicious croquettes is making sure you have a good consistency and robust flavor before you cook them off. Nothing is more disappointing than biting into a croquette at the table that’s under-seasoned. So taste a small bit before you start dredging them in breadcrumbs.
Butter gives the croquettes extra lusciousness. You can of course use oil if you prefer. Make sure to cook the onions until you have light caramelization and they are nicely softened.
Use any kind of leftover turkey you have on hand. You can also buy roasted turkey meat or use chicken in this recipe too.
You can prepare the turkey croquettes up until this point and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them. Cover them with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. It is essential to have cold croquettes when cooking them. If the filling is warm, the steam inside the croquettes will find its way out, causing the crust to crack.
The Secret to Delicious Oven Frying
I really don’t like to fry food at home. I find the amount of oil I have to use, and the hassle of cleaning it and storing it, to not be worth the effort for most foods. So I have combined several different techniques to ensure that you get delicious results without the need for deep frying. If you have an air fryer (which I don’t), you should use definitely use it here. And of course, if you’re like my sister, who has no problems with deep frying, you can fry these up in oil like the champ that you are!
Ok, so the trick with oven frying is making sure to get a crisp buttery crust. Over the years, I have tried all kinds of techniques to get oven fried food to taste like traditionally fried food, and this is by far the best. Why? Because you need to get a head start on creating a delicious golden crust. You will not get it from just spraying the croquettes with oil and popping them in the oven. There isn’t enough time or enough oil to get your oven fried foods uniformly crisp and golden. Some bites will be ok and others will be like dried out bread-ugh.
First toasting the breadcrumbs in a pan with some oil will get all of the crumbs golden in minutes. And now you know that the food coming out will have that delicious crust. You can use this technique for any oven fried recipe you make that requires coating with breadcrumbs.
I use panko because they are the crispiest breadcrumbs. Be sure to cool the breadcrumbs before you start dredging the croquettes.
When you’re ready to start, create an assembly line of ingredients. Having everything within reach makes the process very quick and easy. If possible, try to use one hand for dry food and the other hand for wet, so you can keep your dredging process neat and orderly.
Now they are ready to bake. I spray the tops with oil and bake them for about 15-20 minutes, until heated through and crispy.
While the croquettes are baking, I make the sauce. This pumped up gravy is so delicious and easy! Just heat up your leftover gravy, and add some umami rich ingredients including oyster and Hoisin sauce. Depending on how thick your gravy was, you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to thin out the sauce to the right consistency. Also, this sauce should be served warm because of the gravy ingredients. Cold it’s a little congealed and stiff.
Served with a green salad with a simple dressing and some Kabocha Soup, these turkey croquettes can easily be a complete meal. Drop a comment below or rate the recipe, and let me know what you think! And show off your creations by tagging us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.
- 8 ounces roast turkey meat
- 1 ½ cups mashed potato (made from 1 russet potato, ¼ cup milk, 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, and salt to taste)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ large onion
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 ¼ cup panko (or unseasoned breadcrumbs)
- ½ cup gravy
- 1 Tablespoon ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce
- Peel and finely dice the onion.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and swirl the pan to coat.
- Add the onions, 2 pinches of salt, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until translucent and beginning to soften. Cover with a lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onions, are very soft and starting to caramelize, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder and stir to combine. Take the pan off the heat and let the onions cool to room temperature.
- Place the turkey into the food processor. Pulse the turkey 10-12 times until it is very fine, but not a paste. Transfer the turkey to a large bowl.
- Add the mashed potatoes and cooled onions to the bowl and stir with your hands to combine.
- Taste a small bit and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Use a ¼ cup scoop and portion the croquettes. Shape the croquettes into flat oval patties and place on a tray.
- Put the tray into the fridge and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This can be done ahead of time. Cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.)
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add the oil and the breadcrumbs. Toast the breadcrumbs in the pan for 5-7 minutes, moving them around occasionally, until they are a nice golden color. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
- Set up a dredging station:
- Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk to combine. Put the flour, eggs, and toasted cooled breadcrumbs out onto the counter. Dip the croquettes into the flour and coat it lightly with flour. Next dip it into the egg wash. Finally coat it with the breadcrumbs. Do the same for each turkey croquette.
- Set the oven to 425 and move the oven shelf to the middle.
- Spray a baking tray generously with oil. Place the croquette on the sheet pan and spray the tops of the croquettes with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the center of the croquette is hot or reaches 165. (use a thermometer or a skewer to check.)
- Make the sauce:
- Heat the gravy over medium heat for several minutes and whisk until smooth. Add the ketchup, worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin. Continue whisking until warm. Add a Tablespoon or two of water if your sauce is very thick. Serve warm.
- Serve the turkey croquettes with the warm sauce.
*You can of course fry the turkey croquettes, which is traditional. Disregard the step where you toast the breadcrumbs and just use plain (raw) breadcrumbs for coating. Use a deep skillet or dutch oven and heat 3 cups of oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Test the oil by dropping a couple breadcrumbs into the oil. It should bubble immediately. If not, continue to heat for several more minutes. Gently place 5-6 korokke into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the center hot. Drain on paper towels and continue frying the remaining croquettes. Serve immediately.
*It is essential to cool the croquettes before baking/frying. If you put warm or hot croquettes into the oil, the steam trapped inside the coating and look for a way out. This will cause the croquette to crack or burst.
Keywords: korroke, japanese food, turkey, thanksgiving leftovers
It may still be in the mid 80’s here in sunny South Florida, but that does not mean I am immune to the charms of fall. And my Kabocha Soup is all of your sweater weather, cozy nights in, warm baking smells wafting through the house, dreams come true. It’s an unabashedly sweet soup filled with squash and apples, but the sweetness is tempered with a little onion and curry spice to keep it from venturing into dessert territory. It’s a perfect starter for a holiday meal, or a healthy bite before trick or treating. I love leftovers for lunch the next day; this is a soup that holds well and is just as delicious at room temperature. So put on your favorite fall sweater and let’s go!
Also known as Japanese pumpkin, kabocha squash has a sweeter flavor and lusher texture than pumpkin. If you love the flavor of pumpkin, but wish it were less watery, more creamy, and a little more sweet, then you need to try Kabocha-which is like the best version of pumpkin! The skin is relatively thin, and can be peeled off with a sharp knife. I prefer to take off the skin so that my soup has a nice golden color. You can of course leave the skin on and save yourself the hassle, but know that your soup will not be as silky and you’ll end up with a not so appetizing color as a result.
As with any large, dense vegetable, use a lot of care when preparing the kabocha. Put a damp kitchen towel underneath to help stabilize the vegetable. If it’s too difficult to cut on top of the counter, try cutting on the floor, where you will get better leverage and more power to cut through the dense flesh. Also, I carefully dig out the stem first. The divot under the stem is pretty soft. I put my knife tip into that divot and then bring the knife down. Then I turn the kobocha around and do the same on the other side. If you can’t get the knife all the way through, gently ease the knife out, and then put both thumbs into the seam and pry the two halves apart with your hands.
Then it’s time to prep the apples. There’s so much variety available this time of year, so go with what you like. Just not tart green ones, we want a sweet variety. Fuji, gala, and golden delicious are all good options.
Once all the ingredients are prepped, it’s time to cook. I like to use my dutch oven for this, but any heavy bottomed large pot will work.
For this Kabocha Soup I like to use a sweet curry powder. That lends the sweetness and warmth of cloves, coriander, nutmeg, and ginger without the heat of some curries.
Once it comes to a simmer, lower the heat and cover the pot. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the kabocha is very soft and breaks apart with a fork.
If the soup is a little thicker than you would like, thin it out with water. I love to serve this with Wild Mushroom Salad for a meatless menu that celebrates fall. Even if I’m still in a tank top… Make Kabocha Soup this week and let me know what you think! Rate or comment on the recipe below, and don’t forget to tag us in your photos @funkyasiankitchen.
- 1 ½ pounds kabocha or butternut squash
- 2 medium apples (anything sweet, not granny smith)
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter*
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger (about 1 inch piece)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon sweet curry powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Carefully peel and seed the kabocha pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
- Peel and core the apples. Dice into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
- Heat a dutch oven over medium heat for several minutes. Add the butter and the onions. Cook the onions for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent. (You do not want to brown the onions).
- Add the curry powder, ginger, garlic, and bay leaves stir into the onions, cooking for another minute.
- Add the apples, kabocha, apple juice, salt, pepper, and honey. Raise the heat to high and bring to a simmer.
- Cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the kabocha is very soft.
- Remove the bay leaves and blend the soup with an immersion blender. (You can also blend in a traditional blender but do not fill more than ½ full and be very careful. Remove the center feed cover and cover with a kitchen towel. Pulse a couple times first and then blend until completely smooth.)
- Adjust the thickness with the cup of water as needed and adjust seasonings to taste with a little salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
*use a plant based butter to make it vegan
Keywords: kabocha, pumpkin spice, fall soup, soup, curry, apple